Carolina Hurricanes captain Justin Williams said Monday he remains undecided on whether to continue his playing career or retire after 18 seasons in the National Hockey League.
The Hurricanes reached the Eastern Conference final before falling in four games to the Boston Bruins last week. Williams, 37, posted four goals and seven points in 15 playoff games.
Williams said at the team's locker room cleanout that if he elects to return to the ice it will be with the Hurricanes.
"I haven't made a decision yet," Williams said. "You don't do those things irrationally. You put thought into it. You find out inside whether you have the full capabilities emotionally and physically to do it. I put everything I had into it this year. If I have everything again, then I'll be here."
Williams posted 23 goals and 53 points in 82 games, his highest offensive totals since the 2011-12 season. He did so while playing out the final season of a two-year, $9 million contract signed with the Hurricanes in 2017, returning to the team eight years after being traded to the Kings. He was named captain prior to this season.
“I think he’s the single-most important player we have,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour told The Hockey News in April. “We have to have that leadership. We have such a young group that hasn’t been through any of this. You look at the way he prepares, the way he practises, the way he plays. It’s the exact same every day, whether it’s a preseason game or Game 7 of the Stanley Cup. Every team has those guys, kind of, but we have a special one.”
A veteran of 1,242 NHL games, Williams is a three-time Stanley Cup champion and won the Conn Smythe Trophy with the Kings in 2014. He has 312 goals and 785 points over his 18-year career.